Despite moments when it looked like my chocolate flan experiment was doomed to the garbage disposal, the end result was fantastically yummy and delicious.
- Tripling the amount of chocolate that a recipe calls for is a sure way to make the taste buds happy
- Brown sugar doesn’t caramelize like white sugar, better to melt it on the stove top than in the oven, with less water if any
- Don’t attempt to re-melt the chocolate/milk mixture with eggs in it because the eggs will cook
- Double boiling semi-sweet chocolate chips is a long, painstaking process–use a microwave next time (remember to melt at half power)
- Use shallow dishes or single-serve dishes for flan, otherwise the flan will not descend gracefully onto its final plating
So armed with those warnings, we proceed to the actual recipe.
6oz (or less) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 cups brown sugar
1-2 cups of milk (less milk means denser custard)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramelize brown sugar on stove top in a nonstick saucepan or in the oven in a baking dish. In this case I used a 5×9 glass loaf dish in a 375 degree oven…took forever, even with a little water added in. When the sugar melts, transfer to its baking dish and coat the bottom evenly. Set aside to cool and harden. Melt chocolate chips with milk until incorporated. Remove the chocolate milk mixture from heat and slowly mix 4 beaten eggs in. Add vanilla extract and stir gently. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, pour flan mixture into baking dish, then bake for 60-70 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes away clean. Remove from oven and let cool (especially if you’re using a glass baking dish). Afterwards, refrigerate overnight.
To serve, take the flan and microwave in the oven for 30 seconds or less (just enough to melt the caramel). Invert the dish on plate. Garnish with powdered sugar, brown sugar, or even mint leaves and berries for a decadent chocolatey custard. What’s the difference between custard and a flan? Not much, if you read this article on the subject.